Wire instead of powder

Accurate feeding mechanisms and the technologies required to achieve a full meltdown of the filler wire enable a material utilization rate of 100% – ensuring that no other technology will ever be capable of beating the material efficiency of wire-based laser metal deposition.

Challenges: Titanium and Inconel

Sophisticated production technologies are required for the application of of additive techniques to high-performance materials. The Fraunhofer IPT has been meeting this challenge for many years and has focused its attention on the wire-based laser metal deposition of high-performance materials such as titanium and Inconel.

Resource-efficient tool machine production

Wire-based laser metal deposition is a highly suitable and effective technique not only for the additive manufacturing of components but also for the repair of localized defects and damages.

Wire-Based Laser Metal Deposition (LMD-W) in Additive Manufacturing

For quite some time,  additive manufacturing of customized and complex components has been polarizing the markets. Now, its effects on end users and consumers are also beginning to be felt. We are currently developing innovative wire-based laser metal deposition techniques (LMD-W) to provide environmentally friendly and resource-efficient alternatives to the conventional powder-based strategies of producing metallic components. Under LMD-W – a technique that was originally developed to provide higher levels of resistance to wear – the wire material is melted down by a laser before being applied in layers to the component surface. Our self-developed CAD/CAM software controls the process, allowing us to build up layer after layer of the component with all of its required properties. Standardized wires of different types and specifications (filler wires, solid wires and specifically designed laser wires) are widely available on the market, ensuring the cost-effective production of high-quality components.

Our Services

  • Feasibility studies on the application of wire-based laser metal deposition
  • Process development and production
  • Additive manufacturing of customized small series
  • Integration of wire-based laser metal deposition into existing process chains
  • Design and construction of wire-based laser metal deposition facilities
  • Integration of laser systems and wire feeding mechanisms into machine tools

Typical Applications in Industrial Production

Tool modification and repair

During their technical live, tools are subject to abrasion, adhesion and other forms of stress that can cause wear. By using suitable protective additives, wire-based laser metal deposition can significantly lengthen the tools‘ technical life spans.

Additive manufacturing of structural components

Wire-based laser metal deposition allows the cost-efficient production of near-net-shape and non-porous structural components under a protected gas supply. Since the technique dispenses with any use of respirable particles (wire replacing powder), no specific precautions to protect the industrial environment from their impact are required.

Additive manufacturing of complex components

Due to its technological principle of constructing components layer-by-layer, wire-based laser metal deposition can be applied – using customized CAD/CAM software – to freely definable basic frames and shapes. This allows the production of even highly complex components such as turbine blades. Substrates and additives may even contain atypical ingredients, for example in cases where low production costs are an absolute priority.

Projects

LMD-W-20-L

Smart processing module for wire-based laser deposition welding

OpenHybrid

Integration of wire-based laser metal deposition into machine tools

InnoCaT3

InnoCaT3 – Resource-efficient tool manufacturing

Bilateral industry projects

Bilateral industry projects for the further development of wire-based laser metal deposition: application of functional layers in tool manufacturing processes, structured titanium components for aviation and aerospace engineering and turbine blades made from nickel-base alloys.